Dec 15, 2011

The Change Up

We've now been homeowners for nearly a year!  Thankfully, we are finished with all of the renovations, but now it's time to decorate and settle in.  Our living room was designed for a family in the early 1950s (read: no television or cable).  Since we are the second owners, we had to install the cable in 2011!!!  How is that even possible?!  Anyway, we decided on a location based on our big TV, of course.  Here's how it's happening now...
It's easy to see that the front door opens directly into the chair!!  The TV sits on a 2' high pine stand and is usually tilted so I can see from my spot on the couch--nearest the wall.  The long, narrow room doesn't allow for the TV to go on the wall behind the couch because it is just too far away from everything.  Hence the reason it is now the "hallway" to the real hallway.

Even though we aren't exchanging gifts this year, we opted for a new living room instead.  Ok, that may be my plan... In reality, we are downsizing our TV--could it be?!  It won't be the center of the universe?!  Here is the plan for the new layout...

We have a narrow stretch of wall between the front door and the dining room.  The TV will go above the small cabinet, which may or may not stick around.  :)  And maybe the couch, too!  Now I'm crossing my fingers the wall mount and the Power Bridge are easy enough for Philip to figure out...  More to come later on that.

PS, is perfect for room layouts!!! 

Dec 13, 2011

For the Love of Photo Cards

So this year I made a spot on my pantry door to display all of my darling Christmas photo cards. I adore receiving these cards, and I especially enjoy getting new ideas for future cards. One ribbon was not enough, so today I added a second.

I love the artsy and sweet variety,

the ones featuring the newborns or grandchildren,

and also the soon-to-be newly weds!

We didn't start sending cards until we were married, and our first card is still my favorite.
Last year's was sweet and charming.

This year's was pretty silly, and one little girl even commented that she couldn't believe we had a pet dolphin!!

Next year I'll be more prepared, thanks to Pinterest.

Where do you get your Christmas card inspiration?

Nov 28, 2011

Right on Target

For Thanksgiving in the city, we got to practice our marksmanship with my daddy! Who knew I was such an excellent shot?!
Yes, that is me hitting the target twice! All of those other shots on the white paper are Ashleigh's. ;) Sadly though, two shells ricocheted off the metal side walls and wounded me. One hit my forehead, right above my eyebrow. The other fell into my shirt and rolled down my chest. Luckily the one in my shirt burned worse than my forehead. On a lighter note, I had the joy of looking through my box(es) that hold my childhood photos and memorabilia. Here I am in Kindergarten, a foot shorter than everyone else!

And I couldn't leave out my dressing-room-fashion-show-sleepover-party shot. LOVE the leather skirt and zebra trimmed top! Oh, and the attitude face!

Oct 30, 2011

It's Halloween!!!

For the Fall Festival, we dressed as the Wizard of Oz characters.  Toto was not turning out the way I wanted, so I scrapped it and went for the surprisingly not-so-obvious yellow brick road.  It turns out most five year olds have not seen the movie and certainly didn't know why I was dressed as a wall (Really!? A wall?). 

On another note, I have fallen off the wagon as the dutiful cook.  I have a limited number of meals I A. can cook and B. am interested in cooking/eating.  That means that after 27 months of marriage, I have cooked my 15 or so specialties about a million times each.  Who are these people who have a 16 week rotating list of 5 different meals per week that rarely eat the same dinner twice?  I am guessing they are not the ones who prefer rice and chicken.  Well thanks to Pinterest, I am going to add to my recipes.  I have a new Grocery List and lots of ideas for this set of meals.  Yum!

Roasted Red Potatoes
Baked Potato Soup
Cake Batter Bars
Buffalo Chicken Bites
Pretzel Bites
Southwestern Egg Rolls

Oct 16, 2011

Mini Chairs--My Latest Craze!

It all started when I took a little trip to HD Buttercup in LA...

I found this tiny chair, and I immediately became Goldilocks with the perfect sized chair!
Get this HERE
When I visited Restoration Hardware today for some stress relief, I reminded myself when I love this Marseilles chair so much--it's got that down cushion!  But it's a little roomy for this mini chair list.
 But then I found this one--absolutely perfect!  And at only $925 (ha ha), it's the cutest tiny chair ever!
And I'll go ahead and add this 19th c. Medallion Duvet my list of favesies.

Sep 24, 2011

Fridays and Saturdays: "Maybe"

Ok, I found my new motto today at the vacuum repair shop.  Instead of just summers, I would go ahead and substitute any season.  Then I would throw in any day of the week.  Just "maybe" I will be working... maybe not.  Yes, I realize we are the ONLY people in the entire United States who service their vacuum cleaner every six months.  Or ever, probably.  But can you believe they can afford to stay in business and pay someone to stay open six days a week until 5:30!?

A few extras of Massey being a cutie pie:
Laptop Table
Piggie in a Blanket

Sep 18, 2011

Lululemon Love

I finally broke down and bought some Lululemon pants!  YAY!!!  Lucky me they have free hemming--they are SO long.  After I tried on 50 items, I stuck with my one piece.  Willpower.  Now for the birthday list... I love everything, and I'm a 4 if you're wondering.
This is a good place to start.

Sep 11, 2011

Go Go Gadget Ninja

Am I a ninja? A surgeon? A boy scout? The creepy guy from "Saw III"? The answer is yes, I am all of those. Obviously. Today I had the bad luck pleasure of helping my husband lay down 6 mil. plastic sheeting in our crawl space as a moisture barrier. Originally, I was named the "assistant" (read: I supplied the water on water breaks, cut the plastic roll to size, called the in-laws to bring over lunch, etc.) until I was sitting in the living room and heard Philip yell through the floor, "Can you come out here? This is a two man job." That is not the way to get me to help with anything. Ugh. I went down to clear things up.  Me: "I don't want to help."  Phil: "Well, that's not a choice. Go get some old jeans on and cover up."  I don't have any old jeans that I would crawl around in dirt in!  Doesn't he know me at all?  I don't have any clothes I want to get dirty!!!  Did you see what I ended up wearing?  I know.  And, I DO NOT want my neighbors to see me.  So I creep down the stairs and duck behind the bushes... Into the dungeon I go.

To start, you have to crawl under the porch, through a dwarf door into the mini addition (Side note: the first owners thought it would be brilliant to add 8 feet to the house, all the way across. Good call.), then crawl through another dwarf door into the real crawlspace. The floor is dirt (duh), and the air conditioner and water pipes are blocking all the good crawl ways. You really do have to crawl. It's about 3 1/2 feet tall. Luckily I'm 5 feet tall, so I just squatted and stomped around like a duck instead of crawling. After about 5-10 minutes of Philip laughing at me (and me kind of, not really, laughing while giving him the I-am-really-not-happy-to-help stare), I was all over that space crawling over pipes, waddling to and fro, cutting holes for the support posts, and doing all the work! Philip's nice way of thanking me was to say, "Look at you! You were born for this! We are going to rent you out for $150 an hour!" Thanks, Phil.

Sep 6, 2011

Chocolava Cookies

Borrowed from Julie

Craving brownies and cookies like me?  Then try these chocolava cookies!  I know, it's soooo fun to say chocolava over and over and over and over.  Ok, so here's the recipe (courtesy of Julie at Dinner with Julie):

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 large egg whites or 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
icing sugar, for rolling
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl or in the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt, breaking up any lumps of brown sugar. Add the butter and pulse or stir with a fork, pastry cutter or whisk until the mixture is well combined and crumbly.
Add eggs and vanilla and stir by hand just until the dough comes together. The dough will be fairly dry – it will seem at first that there isn’t enough moisture, but if you keep stirring, or get in there and use your fingers, eventually it will come together.
Place a few heaping spoonfuls of icing sugar into a shallow dish. Roll dough into 1 1/2” balls and roll the balls in icing sugar to coat. Place them about 2” apart on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for 12–14 minutes, until just set around the edges but still soft in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 20 cookies.

*I made my cookies about 1" in diameter, and it made 36 yummies!

Per Cookie: 111 calories, 2.6 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 0.7 g monounsaturated fat, 0.1 g polyunsaturated fat), 21.3 g carbohydrates, 6.2 mg cholesterol, 1.8 g protein, 1.3 g fiber. 20% calories from fat

Sep 4, 2011


That's right, no posts in August.  Not one.  It's been busy, but here are some random goings on from the past month.
  1. A new batch of 17 little nuggets, ready to be trained and molded into the workforce of the future.
  2. A million blogs to read (obviously this is an important thing on the list). Here are most of my faves:
  3. Seeing my best friend and meeting her sweet baby!
  4. Paint 8 doors, front and back, which takes 1 1/2 hours per side!!! [I officially hate painting]
  5. Almost last graduate class.  Yay!
  6. Lots. Of. Work.  How can it be that I have done the same thing for so long and it still takes forever?
  7. Bags are on super clearance and an extra 40% off at Loft--Look! Only $2.10!
  8. New throw pillows in the living room (well, soon-to-be once I get the fabric for the back, the down inserts, and then I actually sew them)
  9. Oh yeah, and I put a soaked paintbrush in paint thinner in a red plastic cup on the super light/white part of my granite counter top.  The thinner ate away at the plastic and spilled ALL over.  Since the thinner is acetone-based, it cleaned up with a dry cloth, but the PINK ring from the cup is still there.  In a VERY obvious spot.  AHHHHHH!  So I've googled a million suggestions, tried poultices of baking soda + water, bleach + flour, Comet (DO NOT TRY THIS ONE), nail polish remover, just bleach, Shout stain remover gel, and nothing has worked so far.  I'm  moving on to the hydrogen peroxide + moulding plaster poultice and leaving it on overnight.  If that fails, I'm trying bleach + baby powder overnight.  Way too much stress for a holiday weekend.
*****EDIT***** The bleach and baby powder poultice for 24 hours (covered with Glad Press 'n Seal) worked!!!!!!!!!!!

    Jul 30, 2011

    My Sister's Soiree

    So I took a little trip back to the old stopping ground for my little sister's first party in her new, awesome, gigantic, grown-up house.  First, I stopped at my favesies little consignment shop to catch a bargain, and THIS happened! 
    Yes.  If you look close enough, you will see I am sporting my Loft sunglasses sans one side!!!  Luckily they aren't totally bo-bo.  Ok, maybe they are.  Anyway, not wanting to hang around all day while the boys played golf and Ash worked, I started checking out the goods with this little peanut.

    Really, it's a trunk show for Stella & Dot, so I ran into these fun finds:
    And then I came across this...
    Yes, it clearly states she will CUT OFF your HAND if you eat her cookies.  Disturbing much?  Ok, time for me to stop snooping and stay out of trouble.

    Jul 28, 2011

    Get Some PB+Jellycats!

    I don't actually have a child of my own to buy silly little gifts, but I do have Massey! And he was my number one excuse for buying this little guy at a shop in Manhattan Beach. Who could resist? So soft and so floppy. We likey. Massey especially!

    He is obsessed with licking anything that is super soft. Precious.

    Get them HERE.
    Can't you just eat them up?! I will take all of them, thanks.
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    Jul 27, 2011

    We're Hottttt

    It's about a million degrees and 100% humidity down here in the south, and we're hot. Daily, I spot Massey catching a breeze in front of the air vents. He's the most genius dog ever. Really.

    My new favorite way to cool off is with Herbal Water in lemongrass mint vanilla. Yum and refreshing. Warning: this is a very minty drink, and it would probably be better if diluted.
    Which inspired me to take my garden window in a new direction--an indoor herb garden! Just look at these little lovelies!

    I think I would really like to start my mini herb garden with some mint, basil, and rosemary.
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    Jul 26, 2011

    Catching Up

    Well I've been completely unmotivated to do anything. And by anything, I mean wash leftover paint off my leg, turn in assignments, clean the dishes, you name it. I'm blaming it on the depressing realization that it is officially the end of summer--my love, my excitement, and what I generally look forward to all year long. Over.  Blah. Ok, well at least I have started this and accomplished something. All in a week (ok, now a week and a half due to pure laziness), I went to L.A. to see my bestie, spent a week at workshops, found a new inspirational project for my house [of course], and the baby came! Let me back up, I went to L.A. to see my very pregnant Margaret who is due around the middle of August. We spent each day going to town, walking along the beach, taking naps, and generally feasting more than anyone should, ever. We also got to set up a car seat and a stroller, which the dogs did not like trying out. Ha ha.  Anyway, not four days later, the baby was ready to enter the world! Wishing much happiness to the proud parents and their sweet baby girl!  So here are a few highlights from my super fun girls vacay to the best non humid, non cold, non awful, perfect weather place, Los Angeles, CA.

    The Getty Villa Gardens (Loveliness but not set up like a villa, much more like a museum)

    They were growing peonies! Really, everything thrives in this climate. Jealous.

    Yes, it's true: they workers here are not good spellers of names. Nope, not even close.

    THE BEST almost-as-good-as-a-real-French bistro, St. Amour. Delish!

    Thisclose to the beach.

    I would be able to find a cottage that entails all of my faves--cedar shade, window boxes, an American flag, two outdoor dining spaces, a white picket fence, roses everywhere, and a dwarf door!!!!!!!!

    PS, everyone here is beyond amazingly fit. Gag.

    And finally, my new wall art inspiration for detracting from the insanely manly mega television that happens to be the center of my husband's evenings and my living room. We'll just have to see how this turns out. More to come later...

    PS, I did have a fantastic dream that Sheridan French made a line at Target!  Yes, please!